On March 1, the University High School (UHS) Technology Student Association (TSA) team won first place at the Engineering Design event at the California State Conference. As part of the first team to represent UHS at a TSA competition, team members Taymour Mowafak (Jr.), Ali Shelton (Jr.), Vijay Sachet (Jr.), Tahmid Khan (Jr.) and Arian Abdi (Jr.) defeated previous champions Diamond Bar High School and the Harker School teams. UHS will advance to the 2014 National TSA Conference in Washington D.C. from June 27 to July 1.
A team from each chapter can compete in one of 34 events. UHS team members were interested in gaining exposure to engineering as a possible career choice, so they chose to compete in the Engineering Design event. This year’s theme for the event asked teams to construct devices to meet the needs of people with specific disabilities.
Since October 2013, UHS team members have been designing the EyeBOX, a device which aids people with visual disabilities. The EyeBOX, which can be hand-held or attached to a belt, measures the distance between a person and an object based on the time ultrasound waves take to travel to the object and back. Inspired by a blind piano teacher, the team aimed to create a cost-efficient device that can aid visually impaired with daily activities. The teacher tested the EyeBOX and reported that it helped him avoid objects better. In preparation for the national conference, the team is currently designing a smaller and more accurate sensor that can function as a clip-on to a variety of objects and hopes to integrate the sensor into eyeglasses similar to the Google Glasses.
When asked about the team’s first experience at the TSA competition, Abdi said, “My team and I are proud of what we have made because of the many difficulties that we faced. We needed to minimize expenses and maximize efficiency as much as possible.” Team member Sachet said, “We also tried to utilize a 3-D printer in hopes of finishing the EyeBOX earlier, but we were unable to do so. Hopefully, we can incorporate objects from the 3-D printer more to decrease manufacturing time and to improve our device.”
For students interested in joining TSA, contact Taymour Mowafak at Taymour_97@yahoo.com.
Written by ANDREW HONG